City of O'Fallon Board of Fire & Police Commission met June 19.
Here is the minutes provided by the commission:
Call to Order
Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Board of Fire & Police Commissioners, held in O’Fallon Public Safety Building Community Room, 285 N. Seven Hills Road, O’Fallon, Illinois, on June 19, 2019. Meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Commissioner Thoman.
Board Commissioners Present: Battoe, Brown, Holden, McCoskey, Thoman
(no roll call taken; all visibly present)
Board Commissioners Not Present: None
Other Attendees Present: Chief Eric Van Hook – OPD
Captain Jim Cavins – OPD
Leah Wilson – OPD Administrative Assistant
Commissioner Thoman introduced and welcomed Calvin Brown to the O’Fallon Board of Fire & Police Commissioners.
Approval of Minutes
Commissioner Thoman declared a quorum present and requested a motion to approve the Meeting Minutes of June 5, 2019. Commissioner Battoe made a motion to accept the June 5, 2019 Minutes as presented and Commissioner Holden y seconded the motion. All ayes.
2.1 Special Meeting to Discuss Consortium
Commissioner Thoman stated the purpose of meeting: to discuss the position of the O’Fallon Board of Fire & Police Commissioners on the Consortium prior to the June 26th Consortium Executive Board Meeting. He then deferred to Commissioner McCoskey for an update from the June 11th Executive Board Meeting and status of Consortium.
Commissioner McCoskey indicated the conversations of the meeting turned from how to improve the Consortium into how to dissolve it. Concerns of the Consortium include workload (backgrounds, etc.) is not equitable among participating agencies, lack of attendance/participation in meetings, and organizational issues. The new year for Consortium begins July 1st. No actions have been taken yet to dissolve; however, several agencies (including Edwardsville) intend to leave the Consortium. If Edwardsville leaves, Roger Huber will no longer be the Consortium Chair. There is speculation of other agencies merging together, perhaps on a county level.
Commissioner Battoe stated a lot of good things for hiring in this area have come from the Consortium. Discussion and feedback on how it originally worked well with a smaller number of agencies and how to move forward if we remain in Consortium. If we stay, it must be rebuilt and focus on activities that are effective, as well overcome the current negative reputation. The burden will fall on our staff if O’Fallon is the only large agency remaining. The goal is to make testing process similar and consistent among agencies. Agreement with concept of multi-jurisdictional testing process; makes sense to have effective cost sharing and pooling of resources for workload and activities.
Feedback requested from Department—Chief Van Hook and Captain Cavins agreed and believe there is value and are in support of concept of multi-jurisdictional testing process in the best interest of the organization. Working together with the right partners helps us all hire the right people. Board and Department in agreement of and support a multi-jurisdictional testing process.
A recap was given by Commissioner Thoman that the official position of the O’Fallon Board of Fire & Police Commissioners is: the Board is in support of and sees value in a multi-jurisdictional testing process. Commissioners who attend June 26th Executive Board Meeting will provide feedback and status of Consortium following the meeting.
Physical Fitness Testing – Continued discussion regarding PowerTest as well as inconsistencies and philosophies.
Traditional Hires – Discussion on how we have an obligation and owe it to the law enforcement profession to hire from the traditional list (versus some departments who only hire laterals). It is good for department to have a mix of both traditional and lateral hires as well as “grow your own” (interest in law enforcement from a young age: Youth Academy > Explorer > Community Service Officer, etc.) which is a good investment for department.
Lateral Interviews – Four interviews are scheduled for June 25th at Firehouse #4. All Commissioners will be in attendance except Commissioner Brown. Discussion on consistency of candidate questions; Commissioner McCoskey will follow up with list of questions for interviews.
Promotions – Commissioner McCoskey inquired about the process for promotions which will occur because of Captain Cavins’ retirement. Chief Van Hook stated according to Board Rules and Regulations; the Board decides promotion for each rank from the top three (3) candidates on the Eligibility List. Promotions are targeted to be in place by the end of July. Therefore, the Board will have to call a special meeting since timeframe is prior to next regularly scheduled BFPC meeting.
Misc. Items – Commissioner’s binder, training opportunities, badge, etc. for Commissioner Brown were discussed. Discussion on intent/purpose of Executive Board, possible Advisory Board for information sharing of like-minded agencies. No trend to eliminate Board of Commissioners. Board will seek legal advice regarding public/open meetings and quorums if necessary.
On behalf of the Board, Commissioner Thoman congratulated Captain Cavins on his retirement from the O’Fallon Police Department and appointment as Chief of Town and Country, Missouri Police Department, thanking him for his 29 years of outstanding service to the O’Fallon Police Department and community.
With no further business, Commissioner McCoskey made the motion to adjourn meeting Commissioner Holden seconded the motion. With all in agreement, the meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.
Meeting adjourned: 6:50 p.m.